Merry Christmas! 

There's only
 
left until next Christmas!!
 

       

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting our historic website!  We have begun the set-up of our 2014 holiday season display.  In fact, the "tent poles" - that support the overhead lights and Snoopy's Bi-Plane were put up on October 8th, and the ice cycles shortly thereafter!  Wow - early start!.   We also fabricated new mounting brackets for the two angels since we now have a new roof and do not intend to poke holes in it for mounting stuff!   We are adding progress pictures as our 2014 display comes together!

Our 2013 display was a huge success.  Progress pictures from last year are still displayed below. 

For 2013, we began running on December 2nd and our last night of running was Friday December 27th.  We added more LED lighting for 2013 as well as some new characters and other items.

We have provided a lot of the history and media of our display in this website.  Here is an executive summary of those past years.

For 2012, we began nightly operation on schedule on Saturday, December 3rd. The last night for that year's display's operation was Thursday, December 27th.  We began assembling the 2012 display on November 1st.  Actually - we put up the icecycles in October to use with our Halloween Grave Yard (they have an eerie effect in the background without having lights on them!)

We updated the train station for 2011 and in 2012, and added a new top to the Merry-Go-Round.  We also added more LED lights and low wattage flood lamps (for power savings) and updated many of the wood characters.  Our North Pole Express train got a new flat car for 2012!

2011 was our 3rd year of running our former "analog" theme park display - which, actually, is really a hybrid analog-digital display since much of the animation is run with a computer! Our 2008 display was the fourth and final season for our digital light display that we first introduced in the 2005 Christmas Season.  That display featured the Holiday theme park design that has been so popular with our analog display. 

We had a great time designing and displaying the digital theme park.  But, the feedback was that it did not have the same "magic" as the original display.  We gave in, and brought back the analog theme park display in 2009 with the exception of the train and Ferris wheel.  We built new replacements for those attractions in 2009.  We have made the former display even better with the addition of digital control of lights and animation!!! 

Click here to visit a special section of this website for more details on the digital display with pictures from 2005 and 2006. 

Our Son's Family Home Christmas Display in 2013

Our oldest son, David, who lives with his family in Palmdale, created a really cool digital Christmas Display with the lights in sync to the music! 

 

 *LIVE* STREAMING WEBCAMS!!!!

 

 

We have taken our display to a new level by enabling viewers to watch it *LIVE* from around the world!  Yes - during operating hours, you can view the display *LIVE* via our streaming webcams by clicking on the images below.  Be sure you read the instructions below BEFORE trying out the webcams!!!!!  The Roof Cam is live as of 11/10/14 - you can watch us working on the display!

In 2010, we added a second WEBCAM!  The original cam (a SONY M3) faces toward the street from the roof.  The new cam (an AIRLINK 747) is in the tree facing the display. Both CAMS work best with Internet Explorer.  Firefox will not pass through the audio on the tree camera, or even display the image on the Sony roof cam.  I believe that it is because of the proprietary helper files that the camera manufacturers require to be installed.

In some browsers, a warning message appears about an application (JAVA) that requires permission.  You must agree to access the cams. 

For the SONY (roof) cam:  From my experimenting, the cam ONLY works with Windows computers and is best with Internet Explorer.   The username and password are both "guest".

The first time you click ENTER, you are asked to install a tiny file from Sony Corporation (manufacturer of the camera).  It must be installed to view the display. Click RUN when prompted to install this file.  Once you log into the camera (user name and password "guest" is required), you will see a control button on the lower left of the screen.  Click on it and you will be able to move the camera remotely - including zoom!  Click on the camera below to activate it. When the display is operational for the season, there will be a microphone near the sidewalk so that visitors can actually talk over the Web to friends and family! 

We have a sign posted suggesting to visitors to ring their family on a cell phone and tell them to watch them on the Internet - live - from beautiful downtown Burbank!    So, if you spot someone jumping up and down, likely they are trying to get the attention of whoever they called - or else, are just really into the Christmas music! 

For the AIRLINK (tree) cam:   User name is guest - there is no password.  In Internet Explorer, you are asked to install a tiny Active X control the first time you access it.  This CAM has a mic built-in.  Click on LISTEN to hear the music and folks talking.  If you are at the display, you can talk and wish folks listening a Merry Christmas from Burbank, CA!   There are presets for moving to CAM to attractions (such as FERRIS [Ferris Wheel]. SWINGS [flying swings], RAIN, TEETER, SIDEWK [to see guests on the sidewalk]).  Have fun checking out the display.

NOTE:  The roof camera requires Internet Explorer and Windows 8, 7, XP, Vista, or Windows 2000 operating system for full functions. Limited functions are available with Firefox. The roof camera will NOT work with Apples IOS. However, the tree camera will also work with Apple's Safari so long as JAVA has been installed.  Again, there is limited functionality (no audio) in Safari.

 

Roof Cam (Sony M3)

Tree Cam (Airlink 747)

 

If your connection is slow, try reducing the frame rate (you will see that control on the left side of your screen). 

Below is a daytime snapshot taken with the Sony (roof) and Airlink (tree) webcams to give you an idea of the field of view.  Most of the sidewalk in front of the display is in range.  Both cameras are user-adjustable. 

 

 

 

We're so glad that you stopped by to visit the Norton family's Christmas display web site.   This home page has lots of graphics.  Please be patient while it loads.  You will see a link to our guestbook further down this page.  Please take a few moments to drop us a line!

As you read on the first page and above, we brought back our former analog large display in 2009.   Actually, as one visitor mentioned, that year began a new era with our "hybrid" display.   It is our former analog display augmented with the digital technology we have used for the last four years!  

 

A note about videos - some on this site are high definition.  If your Internet connection is slow, let them "buffer" fully before playing. Otherwise, play them a second time and you should get smooth playback.

2014's Display

The assembly of our 2014 display is underway!!!!  Our neighbor and friendly competitor, Keith - with the great Winter Snowland beautiful display - has started as well.  The race is on!!!  I will post progress pictures as we work on the display. 

Ok - the first picture is NOT Christmas!  We did a haunted graveyard to spook the kids (and adults) with animated pop-up creatures, a coffin with automated lid and smoke, huge moving spider, spiders fall out out of tree onto heads of unsuspecting onlookers, and other features.  I though I would share the picture of the display.  It came down on 11/1, and we started putting up the lights on 11/2/14.  As of 11/8, most of the lights were up. The Santa's Toy Shop and the Train Station were assembled.  NOEL is up and connected to the Lightorama system (for the sequencing). The animated angels are in place and operational. We have emptied a good part of our storage shed.  We still have the Merry-go-round top, train cars, train track, Ferris wheel and Santa-in-the-Box along with some other stuff to bring over from storage.  We are pretty much on track where we should be in time for opening night - which should be around December 6th (a Saturday).  Stay tuned for updates on that date.

 

Halloween 2014

November 2, 2014

November 2, 2014

November 3, 2014

November 6, 2014

November 7, 2014

11/8 - We are getting brighter!

11/8 - Train Station Assembled!

11/8 - Toyshop Assembled

11/8 - Got the animated angels in place

11/12 - Candy canes and other stuff

11/12 - Here comes Snoopy!!

11/12 - Thanksgiving Turkey!

11/12 - Another view of house

 

 

 

Keith has begun his display set-up  His roof is done as of 11/8/2014:

 

2013's Display

The 2013 display was a huge success as was Keith's (our neighbor up the block) Winter Snowland beautiful display.  Our neighbor across the street, Troy, kept his gorgeous LED 24' tree displayed longer last year than Keith and I.  The street was really lit up that year with all but about 8 homes decorated with lights!   

 

 

 

Click on the play arrow to see a YouTube Video of the Display taken December 4, 2013

 

 

Nov 1, 2013 - main lights are up!

Nov 2, 2013 - tent lights are up!

Nov 3 - webcam up and
lighted Christmas tree in place

Nov 4, 2013 - emptying storage

Nov 6 - angels, toy shop, Santa
in the box, & NOEL sign are up! 

Nov 11 -making progress

Nov 13 - Ferris Wheel is up!

Nov 14 - train and swings are up!
 

Nov 14 - Hammer is up!

Nov 19 - More items up!

Nov 19 - Another view
 

Nov 19 - Merry-Go-Round up!

Nov 23 - nativity is up!

 

December 3 - DONE!
 

 
 

Once again, we were a featured attraction on the tour bus from Hollywood.  They made three trips this night!

 

 

We also had carolers stopping and sharing music with all of the folks viewing the display!

 

 

We were in the news for the City of Burbank (that is Keith with Elmer Fudd and me).  Keith has the beautiful Winter Snowland display up the street from ours.

.

 

 

2012's Display

 

We were very honored to receive the following Certificate of Recognition from the California State Legislature on December 10th.

 

Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to deliver this certificate!  We are excited to be able to share it on this website. 

 

Here is a YouTube video of the 2012 display!!

 

On November 3rd, we lit up our neighbor's homes and our block with lots of light.  Yup - the house and roof lights were hung and power applied!  The holiday season on Florence Street had officially begun!  As each day passed, we added more to the display.  As of December 7th, everything was done except for adding the snow - which will be soon!

Here are the progress pictures to enjoy as the display came together for the 2012 holiday season!  Our grandson, Stephen Norton, was a major help to us with the setup.

Nov 3, 2012 Main house lights up

Nov 4  - Canopy lights up

Nov 5 - poll balls/flags

Nov 6 - toy shop/ice cycle lights

Nov 7 - train station, lights

Nov 8 - flood lights

Nov 10 - flying swings up

Nov 10 - flying swings

Nov 13 - Don our painter

Nov 18 - Noel and roof lit up

Nov 19 - more attractions up

Nov 19 - new Snoopy!

Nov 19 - train is up!

Nov 29 - Hammer/Ferris done!

Nov 24 - Merry go round done

Nov 25 - toy shop done

Nov 25 - train station done!

Nov 25 - 80-85% done!

Dec 3 - Opening Night

Dec 4 - folks gathering to view

Dec 5  -Merry-go-round

Dec 3 - Toy Shop

Dec 5 - North Pole Express

Dec 5  -Merry-go-round

Dec 7 - Just need the snow!

 

 

 

 

 

During the week of November 12th, several attractions received a new coat of fresh paint (thanks to our painter - Don Hills).  The winter weather is hard on wood! 

As of November 13th, the lights were basically done; the Santa's Train Station was done (except for the animated characters that were added later); the Santa's Toy Shop is done (we will be putting in the toys and elves later this month); the flying swings are done; the support frames for the Ferris wheel and the dual hammer are assembled and getting new paint; the train track has been laid; Snoppy's Bi-plane has been hung and is flying over where the Merry-go-round will be set up; the roof cam is now online; the scrolling sign has been set up.

On November 19th, we really accomplished a lot!  Our oldest son, David, and his wife, Lisa, came down from Palmdale to spend a day with us in working on the display.  We got the Merry-go-round up, train up, the big tree out front decorated and the tree cam operating, and other tasks.  Major headway was made! 

We had a week of rain after Thanksgiving.  That really set us back! Still, we were able to fire up on December 3rd -  the same date we opened in 2011!  Weather forecast is good for at least a week - so we wanted to get it up and operating as we have no way of knowing what the future weather will be!

As of December 4th, most everything is done and operational.  We still have snow to put out, and some bush lights and a few other attractions.  But for the most part, we are DONE!  The three sound systems are going strong, and the locomotive is smoking away!  So far, so good!!!

 

 

FEATURED ON BURBANK'S HOME PAGE

 

We were honored to be featured on the City of Burbank's home page for 2012!!!!  The home that won the 2013 Burbank decorating contest on Sparks Street was featured that year.    It is a very pretty display and worthy of a trip to see it.  Neither Keith (Winter Snowland up the street) nor us entered the contest to give other folks an opportunity for recognition.

Below is an image of the Burbank Home Page with our home featured.

 

2011's Display

Our opening night was Saturday, December 3rd. 

Opening Night - December 3, 2011

This was a special evening in that a film crew was here doing a production for the Disney web show  - Rule The Mix.   Click on the image below to be taken to their webpage.  We created a Windows Media File of their performance (sorry about the video hum - we will continue to work on that).  Click here to watch them!

The stars of the show - Casey and Tyler - were here in person posing and singing at our display.  The program aired on Friday, December 9 at 3 PM.  Here is a shot of Casey and Tyler singing in front of the merry-go-round!

What a great way to start the season!  We are looking forward to seeing the program on Friday.

We were also featured in Burbank's filming of the annual decorating contest winners for the 2011 season (we did not enter to give other folks with their beautifully decorated homes a chance for the recognition).  Still, the news crew could not resist filing our home and Keith LaPrath's beautifully decorated home just up the street.  The actual footage of our homes begins around 5:30 into the video.  But - take time to watch the entire video so you can enjoy the homes that entered and won the contest.  The 1st place winner is actually just across the street from our home and Keith's home. 

 

OK - what was new for 2011?  Well, for starters, we finished our new train station!  We invited our favorite artists - Lisa and Peggy - to add their creative touches to the station and our windows.  As expected, they did an outstanding job! Here is the train station dolled up for the 2011 display shown with the artists - Lisa and her mom, Peggy - on Sunday morning, December 4th:

We also replaced the top to our merry-go-round.  Pam made the 2nd cover many years ago.  It had served us well, but it was in desperate need of replacement.  So, we found the canvas material at Joann's in Glendale, and arranged for Jon's Windows and Awnings in Burbank to do the sewing.  Wow - it came out great.  Jon - great work as usual! 

We are also using more LED lights (good for the environment - as well as cutting down on our power bill a bit!).   We have also swapped out some of our flood lights to the newer high output - low wattage style.  This, too, should help with power consumption - which STILL remains pretty high.

Please be sure to read our SPONSOR'S section near the bottom of this web page.  We want to give thanks to those who contribute their talents and generosity in helping us share this display each year!  We fully endorse all of our sponsors, and ask that you consider them for your needs!

Also New for 2011!

We are one of 21 homes featured in this year's Yellow Pages!  Click on the picture below for more details!

2011 Progress Pictures

Click on any of the images for a larger picture!

 

11/07/2011

11/13/2011

11/14/2011

11/14/2011

11/17/2011

11/17/2011

11/18/2011

11/18/2011

11/22/2011

11/22/2011

11/23/2011

11/23/2011

11/22/2011

11/23/2011

11/25/2011

11/26/2011

11/27/2011

11/28/2011

More 2011 Pictures!

Click on any of the images for a larger picture!

 

12/03/2011

12/03/2011

12/03/2011

12/03/2011-Keith's Display

Tyler and Casey (Rule the Mix)

Tyler and Casey

Santa with Keith's Display

Where is Elmer Fudd?

Grandson Devin & Santa

Elmer Fudd at Keith's

   

 

FEATURED ON FRITZ COLEMAN'S 2011 HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Every holiday season, Fritz Coleman - our local well-known weather man for NBC Channel 4 in Los Angeles - visits decorated homes in Southern California and features them on the evening news during his weather slot.  On December 6th, we were honored to have him at our home.  He and his crew did a great job in capturing the display.  My wife and I, along with our son, Chris, and his son (our grandson), Devin (home after finishing his boot camp for the Army National Guard) were interviewed for the Christmas Morning 1-hour special on homes featured on Holiday Lights.  Fritz also filmed our neighbor's home - Keith LaPrath - and interviewed him for the Christmas Morning special.

Our local newspaper featured a great article in December 2011 about the holiday spirit on our block.  It makes for good reading.  Click on the banner above to read the article.

2010's Display

We enjoy sharing some history about our display.  Our opening night for 2010 was Saturday, December 4th, and our closing night was December 26th.  Our normal operating hours were from about 6 to 9:30 on Fridays and Saturdays - and 6 to 9 Sunday through Thursday. 

On November 2nd, the ice cycles went up along with the eve lights.   As you might imagine, we received some interesting comments like, "Already?"  from our neighbors when we fired the lights up for the pictures that evening.    The tent lights were in place as of 11/4.  By November 18th, we had most of the roof completed, the train almost totally completed, and the double-hammer, teeter-totter, Ferris Wheel, Toy Shop and flying swings completed.   The Merry-go-round went up on the 27th.  We were working on the display all the up to an hour before starting operation at 6PM on December 4th!

Somehow, our street with the three displays has been noticed by Star Line Tours.  They had made some nightly trips with a bunch of folks.  It is so cool to see the bus and hear then sing Christmas Carols out front.  I will be posting a video clip soon!

Update on December 12th:   The train station is now in place.  We still have some work to do on it that we hope will be completed in a couple of days.  We will post pictures when it is done.

Here is a picture of our opening night display on December 4, 2010!

Here is a cool slide show presentation with some videos!  Click on the picture to start the show!

 

2010 Pictures

Click on any of the images for a larger picture!

Toy Shop

Red Baron (Snoopy)

Merry-Go-Round

North Pole Express

Navity

Teeter Totter

Full Display

Train (on 12/9/2010)

Cabbage Patch Dolls

Animated NOEL on Roof

 

Train Station (not finished)

 

Coal Car

Circus Car

Caboose

Caboose (rear)

Burbank City Buses Tour - Seven Buses in Total!!!!

Burbank Buses Tour

Grinch on Train Signal

 

 

Our 2010 Christmas Display Video (HD)

Our 2010 North Pole Express Video (HD)

 

2009's Display

You can click on any image below for a larger view.  For those of you interested in a bit of history, on November 8th, 2009, we temporarily rolled out our new North Pole Express train to test it.  The neighbors from across the street spotted the new train, came flying over with their kids and they all loved it!   You can see it below along with the Hammer (our newest attraction for our last year of the analog display - 2004).   The train has its own sound system and steam generating unit!

On 11/16, the Merry Go Round was fully assembled and operational!  You can check it out in the pictures below.  It is great to have it back as part of the display.  We finished the toy shop (except for some tinsel) on November 19th.  We rolled out and set up the new train permanently on November 23rd.  Wow - is it getting attention!  The sound systems for the train and Merry-go-round were permanently activated on the 23rd as well.   We kept on track for our December 5th opening night.

We have to share this with you!  Each night when we turned on the display for a short time (to check out what we completed that day), a neighbor's young son (Jack)  - 2 years old - on the street behind us spotted the lights on the top of the tall poles go on.  He would yell to his mother, "It's on! Let's go!"  They would race around the block to see the display and check out what we did for that day!   It was so cute!   I figure they will be at the display every day once we start operating it.  

Here are the 2009 progress pictures!

11/01/2009

11/02/2009

11/04/2009

Our new North Pole Express - smoking away!

11/08/2009

Our double-hammer is back and fully operational!

11/08/2009

11/14/2009

11/16/2009

Buzz Light Year - a favorite of the kids!

11/16/2009

11/16/2009

11/16/2009

11/19/2009

Santa's toy shop with the animated elves

11/19/2009

Chris and David helping decorate the tree

11/22/2009

The teeter tottering children are back!

11/23/2009

11/23/2009

We ran the display for about an hour on Thanksgiving night

11/26/2009

Snoppy flying in over the Merry-go-round

11/26/2009

12/05/2009 (Opening Night)

 

Here is a picture of the 2009 display taken on December 5th.  You can see the new Ferris wheel on the left.

Here is a video of the new 2009 North Pole Express train on its trial run! Click on the image below!

Click on the picture below to see a neat video shot on 12/14/2009 by a visitor to our display. 
Thanks, Bob, for the great video!

You can watch this video full screen at the Flip site by clicking the lower-right two arrows

Here are the 2008 display progress pictures of our last digital light show. 

11/02/2008

   11/03/2008

11/09/2008

11/10/2008

   11/14/2008

11/16/2008

11/21/2008

11/28/2008

11/29/2008

11/30/2008

12/06/2008

 

 

Our display was featured on The Learning Channel's 2007 special

 More Crazy Christmas Lights

It was also featured on KCAL-9's evening news on December 10, 2008

Click the YouTube play button below to watch the clip.


         
Please enjoy reading about our prior displays - and enjoy the videos!   We have uploaded most of them to U-Tube for easy viewing.

* * * * * *

The display can be viewed during the holidays at 513 North Florence Street, Burbank, California.   We are between the 134 (Ventura) Freeway and I-5 (Golden State).   As we approach Christmas Day, parking becomes a significant problem on Florence Street.   You may want to park on either of our cross streets (Verdugo or Clark) and take the short walk to the display.

 

 * 2007 DISPLAY *

This was out third year for our digital theme park!  We added some new items and animation.  The picture of the display is below.

 

 

2006 Winner - Burbank's Outdoor Decorating Contest

Each season, the City of Burbank has a contest for the best decorations in the city.   We were proud to announce that Norton's Winter Wonderland was chosen as one of the winner's in the 2006 contest.    The presentation of the Award was held at the City Counsel Meeting at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, December 19th and was broadcast on Burbank's Channel 6.

Our neighbor, Keith LaPrath, was also chosen for this distinguished award - and we congratulate him on another year of recognition for his beautiful display.  We think that it is great that two of the five winners are within 6 doors of each other on the same street!  

What makes our displays so unique is that element of being crafted by their owners!   They are one-of-a-kind - not duplicated anywhere in the city or elsewhere!    We think that creating a unique one-of-a-kind display is far more interesting to visitors than simply buying all sorts of commercial decorations and covering the property!   I can tell you that the amount of work, time and costs that go into creating a unique home-made display is considerable. 

For those of you who visit our display in person each year, we wanted to let you know that both Keith LaPrath (Winter Snowland) and our family stopped entering the Burbank decorating contest after 2006.    This provides the opportunity for other beautifully decorated homes in Burbank to receive recognition for their displays.

Opening Night - December 2, 2006

Above is an picture of our 2006 display.   You can click on the image above to go to the section of this site dedicated to our newest display.  What follows below is more information on our new display, but also a LOT of information on our former "analog" display that we ran through 2004.  

Our original "North Pole Express" train - always a BIG favorite with the kids and adults - is proudly displayed with other beautiful decorations at 425 North Catalina - one block west of our street, and one block south of us (south of Verdugo Avenue by about 200 feet)!   I hope you will drop by this address and see part of our history - and well as other beautiful decorations they have added!

Wow - were we burning the power with the digital light display!!!!   We consumed over  90 AMPS - the most power we have ever drawn for any of our displays up to that time!   When it is on, I tell the wife and daughter - NO turning on the oven, toaster, microwave, hair dryer - or anything that takes power!   

Did you spot the growing use of LED attractions?  They are the bright blue lights you see in the picture of our 2006 display above.   LEDs give off a different form of light that makes them very brilliant.   They are also very inexpensive to run (compared to traditional rope light).   Unfortunately, the cost of LED rope light is still many times greater than standard rope light.   To see additional images of our 2006 display, click here.

Channels 2 and 9 featured our 2006 display on their evening news on December 12, 2006.   Click below to watch the telecast on u-tube! Keith LaPrath's display was featured on Channel 9 on December 13th.  Congratulations, Keith!

 

Opening night of 2005's display - 12/03/2005

Our new display was a big hit in 2005!   Look at the crowd checking it out!

See additional images of 2005 attractions here.

w

 *LIVE* STREAMING WEBCAM!!!!

 

Below is a daytime snapshot taken with the Sony (roof) webcam to give you an idea of the field of view.  Most of the sidewalk in front of the display is in range. 

Guest Book

We would really love for you to sign our guest book before you leave.  Just click on the image below.  You can view the guest book from this link.  We really appreciate your comments!

 

I want to again thank Richard Denny for referring so many visitors (members of the extended Denny family tree) to our website since 2003.    We have enjoyed reading their comments - and those of other visitors as well!.   For those of you who have not visited Richard's great holiday site, here is the link.

    http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/7853/special/

2004 DISPLAY HIGHLIGHTS

The 2004's FINAL year of our original analog display was a great success!  The rain in November delayed our progress at times (but, we needed the water then - as we do in 2009)! 

Opening night was Friday evening, December 3rd.  The display operated through Christmas Day, and was disassembled on 12/26 in advance of the BIG storm that moved in on 12/27.

We added more characters, lighted objects and fiber-optic items to the display for 2004.  As a result, our electric bill was larger in 2004 than in the past.   On that subject, a Burbank Realtor, Bob Idavia, made a very generous contribution toward the power bill to help us share this display.  Thank you again, Bob.  

We have loved putting this display together for over 30 years, and bringing joy to thousands of visitors - as well as the online community who can experience it through pictures and videos. 

This display was featured in LA Parent Magazine, in the December 2004 issue.  Here is a link to the article:

We also were one of three homes that received the award from the Burbank Civic Pride Committee for best outdoor decorations!  We really appreciated their recognition of our labor of love to bring the joy of the season to our community! 

                              

We also had a nice write-up in the Daily News that appeared on Christmas Day!

DISPLAY THEMES

In case you did not notice, the display has two themes.  The ground level is designed to represent a holiday theme park - and it brings smiles to children and adults alike who imagine they are flying through the air on the swings, riding the horses on the Merry-go-round, or sitting in a train car watching the smoke from the engine and hearing it "chug" down the track.  We kept the same theme in our digital light show that we ran from 2005 through 2008.   All of the light attractions had computer controlled animation!  In 2009, our original 2004 display returns - but with new features, including a brand new Ferris wheel (that is reversible!) and a new more detailed North Pole Express train!

The roof level  part of the display remains Christian themed.  It is to remind all of us why we celebrate Christmas.  It is the time we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - who gave us all the greatest gift we could ever ever receive - the promise of everlasting life for all who believe in him!  Praise the Lord!    This part of the display has remained substantially unchanged (except for the digitally sequenced NOEL sign that we enhanced in 2007).

2006 DISPLAY PROGRESS IMAGES

We get a lot of questions about the current display during the holiday period, and where we are in its creation.  Annually, I devote a piece of this website to displaying progress images as of a given date.   Here are the progress images I posted in November 2006.  We went live as planned on Saturday, December 2nd.

11/18/2006

11/18/2006

11/18/2006

11/21/2006

11/24/2006

11/25/2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006, was exciting for us.  The Learning Channel spent the day with us filming part of the setup for their show to be aired in December  2007 on the Learning Channel.  The show was called "More Crazy Christmas Lights." 

The camera crew came over the night of November 30th and took some film of our display and interviewed my wife and me.   They told us that we would have a small part in this year's presentation.  However, we watched the show and the producer apparently opted to save us for 2007.   The theme for the 2006 show was the Virginia tacky light tour - and we would not fit into that theme being on the west coast! 

This special for 2007 features our home and our neighbor's - and our ongoing competition for the best display in Burbank.  Actually - Keith and I were talking the other night.  Our displays are really so dissimilar that it is impossible to make a comparison.   Both are beautiful and draw the crowds. 

 

2003 DISPLAY HIGHLIGHTS

 

DISPLAY FEATURED IN HOLIDAY LIGHTS MAGAZINE

Folks often ask us about the history of the display, so we make an effort to include that information on this website.  Our display for 2003 was particularly memorable as it is the year we were filmed and featured on the Home and Gardens TV channel.   I discuss more about that later.  Remember that through 2004, our display was what I would term an "analog" display.   In layman's terms, it was made of a lot of wood and motors and thousands of lights.   Beginning in 2005, we began the transition to a digital display that is controlled by sophisticated digital technology and a powerful computer.  In 2009, we return to the analog display - but with the additional of digital lighting technology!

We began assembly of our 2003 Burbank Christmas display on November 1st.   It began its daily operation on 12/5/2003, and the last night of operation was on 12/26/2003.

For 2003, we added our first new large attraction in a number of years - the double hammer.  We also added the Nemo fish tank (that turned out to be a real favorite of the kids!). 

We were are very honored to have our family's Christmas display - with its thousands of lights and extensive animation - featured in the 2003 magazine edition of Holiday Lights.  Click on the first image below for more information about the great book that is available for sale by the publisher.   The other two images are the actual article about our Burbank Christmas display.

         

 

HOME AND GARDENS TV SPECIAL FOR 2003!

We were very excited when Home and Garden's Television contacted us in 2003 to do a special on our holiday display for their television special "Extreme Christmas - Bigger and Brighter" that aired on the dates below:

This program was re-played on Friday, November 26th, 2004 - and was rerun again on Christmas Day, 2004 at 2 PM.  In fact, HGTV ran the show for 2005 through 2008 during the holiday seasons. 

For this special, HGTV featured eight (8) homes in the United States for this special program.  Here is a link to their website announcement of this special program and great write-ups on our Christmas display in beautiful downtown Burbank and the other seven homes featured in their program.   To watch the video, click on the AIR TIMES image above.

This was the schedule for the special presentation in 2004.  It was shown on Christmas Day at 2 PM.

NEW FOR 2003!!!!

For 2003, we introduced our newest MAJOR animated attraction in several years - our  animated 8' tall double-hammer ride!  This attraction had one of the most complex gear drive systems of all of our animations, not to mention the specialized electronics designed to operate the independent lights on each of the long rotating arms that support the cages for the riders.  The new double-hammer attraction was a huge hit with the visitors in 2003!   You can view it (along with the other new 2003 attractions) on the Photos web page.  I gave this attraction to our oldest son, David and his wife, Lisa, who proudly featured it in their display.   We gave him most of our digital display attractions in 2009, and now, the double-hammer has returned home and will be featured in our 2009 display!

We also featured for the first time Nemo's Fish tank.   David and Lisa came up with the concept.  David focused on its construction and animation while Lisa used her artistic skills in painting the colorful fish.  The tank had a black light that really brought the animated fish to life!  A rotating mirror ball made the water appear to be moving with air bubbles. 

2003 also featured the introduction of our own designed and built electronic sequencing unit that controls the large NOEL sign on the roof to this day.  Finally, we added some new characters, two 4-channel digital light controllers, more lights and other enhancements to the already large animated Christmas display!

2002 DISPLAY HIGHLIGHTS

2002 was a great year for our display - the largest one we had ever assembled to that point in time.  We enjoyed sharing our animated 2002 Norton's Winter Wonderland Christmas Display with the thousands of visitors, with the television viewing audience (we had great media coverage in 2002) and with the virtual community.

In 2002, we also had a great write-up in the Daily News.  Click on the newspaper below to read the article about our Christmas display (and the great 2002 display of our former neighbor, Keith LaPrath).

We also had extensive television coverage. If you missed the CBS-2, NBC-4, KCAL-9 news or the CBS Early Show coverage, you are in luck!  We have captured their live television broadcasts!  

        

2002 ADDITIONS TO THE DISPLAY

During the holiday season, visitors always ask us what we have added new for that year.  In 2002, we created a special web page to provide this information for that season. 

If you click on "Recent Additions to the Display" you will see what we added for 2002.  One of our major additions for 2002 was all of our new train track.  We also added a new operating train crossing gate, more lights, some new characters and other small decorations. 

MORE HISTORY OF THE DISPLAY

For over 40 years, our entire family has been creating elaborate animated home-made Christmas displays.   We built our first Christmas display in 1970 at our other home in Burbank.  This display featured a small number of lawn decorations and lights.  With each new season, we added more lights and decorations. 

As the family grew, so did the display!  Our children, their wives and grandchildren  contribute their time and labor to help my wife and I with this annual project.  As our Christmas display has grown, so has the demand for electricity increased as well.  Starting with the 2003 Christmas display, with the new major attractions of the double-hammer and Nemo's fish tank, we increased the power to eight 20-amp circuits!  Yikes!  The 2004 display used even more electricity!   2009 - with the combination of the analog AND digital technology, may break the record for power consumption! 

As you can see from the pictures on the pages of this web site, our Christmas displays take up  our entire front yard and almost all of our roof!  We have just about reached the point where we have no more room - or power capacity - to add anything else!

We are frequently asked just how long it took us to put this massive holiday display together.  In 2002, we began assembling the display on November 1st and finished on December 4th.   We began assembling our 2003 Christmas display also on November 1st.   We completed it on December 5th - just in time for filming by HGTV.   For 2004, we began the display's assembly on November 1st as well, and finished on December 3rd. 

Our new 2009 display - and in fact all of our displays from 2009 through 2013- took 5 weeks to assemble (we began 11/1 and will go live early December).  Of course, we actually started weeks before that in the back yard and garage working on attractions.

As you can imagine, the time - and expense - required to create and operate this display is phenomenal.  Why do we do it year after year?  The answer is really pretty simple.  The joy we see in the faces of the thousands of visitors who crowd our block to view and enjoy it makes the hundreds of hours of our time and the cost worthwhile!   

 

PICTURES OF THE DISPLAY IN PAST YEARS

 

Below are pictures of our Christmas displays for 2002, 2001 and 2000.  We think you will agree with our characterization of the Christmas display as "elaborate." 

* 2002 DISPLAY *

 

* 2001 DISPLAY *

* 2000 DISPLAY *

And this is when our display started in 1970!

Our son, David  (2 1/2), beside the tumbleweed snowman

Dick beside the Santa-in-the-box and wooden Christmas tree

My wife, Pam, holding our son Chris (just 6 months old) with David standing at her side

Going back further in time, here is a snapshot taken in 1965 when Dick (me) was still in college living at home.  Our family's holiday tradition was making a tumbleweed snowman.  Mom, dad and I would trek out to the desert (a long drive in those days...) to find three different sizes of tumbleweeds.   We would put them in the car and head back to Eagle Rock (where we lived).   Dad would use a Kirby vacuum with the paint sprayer attachment to paint the tumbleweeds white.   Here is a picture of our finished snowman  standing proud in front of our  Eagle Rock home.

There is a funny story about these tumbleweeds!   One year after returning home from the desert, dad set up the tumbleweeds in the front yard and loaded the Kirby paint sprayer attachment with white paint (all paint was oil-based enamel in those days - latex had not been invented).   He turned on the vacuum and pointed the sprayer at the snowman.   Nothing came out of the sprayer, but dad could see the paint level going down in the bottle!   Yikes - he suddenly realized that he had hooked the hose  up to the wrong side of the vacuum!   He was sucking the white enamel paint into the fan and bag of the Kirby (they were - and still are - expensive vacuums)!   What a mess he had to clean up!  

 

LARGE-SCALE ANIMATION MADE THIS DISPLAY UNIQUE

What makes our analog holiday display so special and unique is our extensive use of animation of large attractions.

 

Just like the train above, our train's wheels and connecting arms move.  It even smokes and has its own sound system that plays the sounds of a steam whistle and the classic chug-chug of the locomotive.   The original train is on display at a neighbor's home on Catalina Street (1 block west of our street - Florence - and 1 block south of our home - on the other side of Verdugo Avenue).   We enjoy driving by and seeing our former train in operation!!

The display features lots of animation!  The train signals operate; the hammer's arms spin in opposite directions - meeting at the top and bottom of their travel; the merry-go-round turns while the horses move up and down; the Ferris wheel rotates; the swings fly through the air; the plane's propeller spins and its wings rock as Snoopy comes in for a landing- and the list goes on.  

When we announced to neighbors and family that we are bringing back the original display in 2009, they unanimously agreed that they really missed the analog display and are so pleased that it is returning!

 

PICTURES, PICTURES AND MORE PICTURES

Check out the photo gallery for additional pictures of our holiday displays.  We created some MPEG movies for you to enjoy of our animated attractions! 

 

MUSIC "MIDI" FILES FOR DOWNLOADING

On the Music page, we have included links to about three dozen great Christmas midi songs for your enjoyment.  To hear them, you will need Windows Media or a compatible midi player. 

Also, you can save these midi files to your hard disk for playing later.  Just right-click on the song you want to download on the MUSIC page, and then left-click "save target as" - and select your target folder where you want to save the file on your hard drive.   If you have a CD-RW drive, you can create an audio CD to play them in your audio system.

HOW TO FIND THE DISPLAY

Following is a link to a map to assist you in finding our display (of course, drive here only when it is up and operational).  We are located at 513 North Florence Street, Burbank, California.  We are between the 134 and I-5 freeways in the heart of Magnolia Park.  Just look for the glow in the sky!

With this major Christmas display and Keith LaPrath's Winter Snowland up the street, parking on our block has always been a challenge.  We tend to get more visitors on weekends, so viewing the display during the week is advisable.  If you are unable to find a place to park on Florence, there usually is parking available on Clark Street or Verdugo Avenue.  Both streets are a short walk from the Christmas displays.   There are other beautiful displays this year on the block as well. 

As Christmas Eve approaches, our block's sidewalks are usually packed with people walking to get a closer look at both displays. A number of visitors have compared our block to the crowds of Universal's City Walk (which is just about 3 miles from our home)! 

This is important!  If it is raining, or rain is in the forecast for that evening, the display will be turned off This means, no lights and no animation!!!!  For your convenience, I have added a link to the weather forecast for Burbank at the end of this page.  NOTE:  You can view the webcam in the evening to see if the display is on.

 

FAQs (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

Every year, we always received a lot of questions from visitors about the holiday display.  Several years ago, we added a scrolling message board.  It used to be on top of the train station.  Now, it is on the roof just about our large picture window featuring the revolving Christmas tree.  For our on-line visitors, we have added a page on this site that lists the frequently asked questions with their answers.   You can click the FAQ  page link to read them.  Note:  When you have finished reading the FAQ's, you can either use the back button on your browser to return to this place on our home page, or click on the links at the top of the FAQ page to return here - or to visit other pages on this site.

Just for the Kids!

Hey boys and girls!   Santa now has E-mail at the North Pole, and has asked us to help children who visit our page by providing a spot on our website for them to send him their wish-list!   So, here is your chance to tell Santa what you are hoping he will bring you for Christmas!   

Warm up those fingers (or ask for help from your mommy, daddy, brother, sister or a friend) and send Santa an E-mail telling him what you would like him to put in this toy sack just for you!!   Just click on the picture of Santa reading his E-mail!  Write to him soon!

OK, it is now time for you to pour your favorite drink, grab a snack and sit back to enjoy the videos, pictures and the great music. 


SPONSORS FOR OUR DISPLAY

Putting on this annual show is a huge undertaking.  Hundreds of hours are spent in the design of the attractions, procuring components, assembling, testing, and monitoring its operation during the holidays.  The costs incurred in building such a display are significant.  We are able to continue enhancing and sharing this display because of the generosity of sponsors who contribute towards our costs, as well as visitors who experience the joy of seeing the display in person, and wish to help us with a small donation to keep it going.   Our power bill (as you might imagine) takes a HUGE jump at this time of year because of the 90+amps this display requires. 

In recognition of their generosity, I am proud to list sponsors of each year's display and encourage visitors to this website to consider these companies when seeking a source for services or products that they offer.  If you would like to make a donation toward our sharing of this display, we would be honored to acknowledge your help and place an ad on our highly viewed website for your company or organization! 

We extend our appreciation to and acknowledge the companies and individuals below:

OUR VALUED SPONSORS

We would like to thank Jon's Window and Awning of Burbank for their contribution of labor in the manufacturing of the gorgeous red canvas top for our Merry-Go-Round.  I first met Jon about 15 years ago when his company installed a beautiful patio cover.  It still looks like the day it was installed.  Their quality of construction is evidenced by the fact that it withstood the tremendous high winds we had in December 2011! 

Our original cover that my wife made in the mid-80's needed desperate replacement.  We met with Connie at Jon's shop on Magnolia  Blvd in Burbank and gave her the specs on what we needed done.  We had the material but needed a company with the expertise in working with canvas to actually cut out and sew this challenging cover. This was a rush dead as we had an impending deadline for our go-live date.

Jon and Connie arranged to have one of their expert seamstresses tackle the project on a rush basis.  We picked it up 4 days later on Friday, December 2nd and raced home to put it on.  Wow - Anna (the seamstress who completed our project) did a beautiful job -  it fit perfect.   

Jon contributed the labor to have this made for us in recognition of the many years he has enjoyed the display.   We deeply appreciate his generous contribution - and also Connie's significant role in getting this project completed so quickly!  We hope you can see the beautiful cover in person. 

We ask that if you have needs for windows, awnings or any other product that Jon's company offers, please give him or Connie a call.  From my personal experience, as well as from my neighbor's praise about the beautiful awnings Jon recently made for them, their work is simply outstanding.

We'd like to acknowledge FULLER MANUFACTURING, INC  that contributes material in helping us create our display, and encourage you to consider this company as a source for custom electronic or audio products.   

Fuller Manufacturing, Inc
315 South Flower Street, Suite #102
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 238-9911

Fuller Mfg designs and manufactures custom products for the entertainment and other industries. They generously contributed cable for our digital trunk lines and other components needed for our display.

We would like to acknowledge the generous contribution by AMERICAN LOGOMOTIONS, INC:

Your Neon Logo Home Page

(http://www.yourneonlogo.com/) for donating a beautiful animated neon flag for our display! 

Please visit their website for their other beautiful animated neon products!

Bodine Electric Company

Bodine gear motors are used to power our Ferris wheel, the double-hammer and the flying swings attractions.  These motors are unbeatable for quality and durability.  They are available in many different configurations to fit just about any application you need. 

 

Circulating Air, Inc

We wish to thank Lonnie and the company for whom he works, Circulating Air, Inc, for their generous contribution of time and materials for our new 2009 North Pole Express train's boiler!  Their craftsmanship is simply outstanding!  I recommend you consider Circulating Air for your needs involving:

  • Mechanical Contracting
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heating
  • Piping
  • Sheet Metal
  • Development & General Contractors
  • Electrical Contracting

 

Window Decorations / Detail on North Pole Express Train

I ran across Peggy and Lisa decorating the window and door of my favorite barber shop (Phil's Barber Salon - Phil has my vote for being the greatest barber in Burbank) on Alameda Street in Burbank during December 2010. I asked if they did residences, and they did.  We set up an appointment, and they came over on December 9, 2010 - and did a fantastic job in decorating our front windows and adding detail to our train.  Here are a couple of images of their work on our 2010 display:

 

Well, in 2011, we completed our train station - and it needed some fancy trimming. So, we invited Peggy and Lisa to come over and doll up our windows and the train station.  Wow - check it out!  Lisa and her mom. Peggy, are posing with their great creation!  The windows came out fantastic as well!  Thanks to you both for adding your creative talents to our annual display!

 

 

Here is their contact information if you need some outstanding decorating on your windows or any of your decorations!

Once again, we welcome sponsors who would like to contribute their support in helping us share this display year after year with the local community and others around the world who visit our website.  In exchange, we will provide you with acknowledgement on this very popular and frequently visited web site!  

Finally, we gratefully acknowledge the invaluable help we received this year and in the past from our dear friend and neighbor, Keith LaPrath.  Keith has been a key person without whose help we would not be doing as an elaborate of a display.  Our grandson, Stephen, has really been a big help to us for these past couple of years. Thank you, Stephen, for all your help!

Our sons - David and Chris - also helped us with the display in 2013 (as in past years).  David assisted with the lighting, and Chris with some mechanical repairs for the flying swings.  We appreciate the help as this is a major project we undertake each year! 

We would like to also thank the many visitors who stop by and enjoy the display - and for those who make a small donation to help us deal with the annual cost to run this display each year!  Without your generosity, we would not be able to do this! 

 

GIVE US YOUR COMMENTS!!!

Finally, we would love to hear from you and what you thought of our website.  We are always looking for ways to make it better, so any suggestions would be most appreciated.  Just click on the wreath below to drop us a line.  You can also leave your comments in the guest book (the link is near the top of this home page).

Dick Norton

webmaster@nortonswinterwonderland.com

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours!

 

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    November 13, 2014